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White, T.H. (ed.) / The book of beasts
(1960)

I. Beasts,   pp. [5]-99 ff.


Page 75

he gets his name, for the Hyrci are.slit-eyed too, accord-
ing to Suetonius.'
   The nature of goats is so extremely hot that a stone of
adamant,2 which neither fire nor iron implement can
alter, is dissolved merely by the blood of one of these
creatures.
   Kids (Hedi) are so called from the word 'edendum
   The philologist seems to be thinking that the Hyrci were the Hyrcani,
or mongolian inhabitants of Hyrcania, and that the reference of Suetonius
was
to these people. If, however, the reference is that of Suet. Lib. ~ it refers
to
goats themselves.
  2 Adamant,     c4oxs', started as the name of a hard metal like steel.
Hence it
began to mean the hardest of objects, thus emery-stone, thus sapphire, and
finally diamond.  It also became confused with the lodestone and magnet;
but
'diamond' finally prevailed.
                'Chalybean tempered steel, and frock of mail
                Adamantean proof.' MILTON.
                                  75


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